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What Is The Purpose Of Chiropractic Adjustments For A Newborn?

Whether you’re a new parent or one that has navigated those first few weeks of a newborn baby’s life before, you’ll know that keeping your baby comfortable, healthy and happy is your primary concern.

So what do you do if you have tried all the usual tips and tricks and your baby is still showing signs of discomfort or distress? Adopting a holistic approach to their health and well-being that includes complementary therapies such as chiropractic treatments may be the solution.

Why Would A Newborn Need A Chiropractor?

There are a few reasons why a baby may benefit from visiting a chiropractor. During the process of birth, particularly natural births, a baby can experience birth trauma that leaves them with a misaligned spine or joint pain.

When the spine is misaligned, this can cause the vertebra to press on the spinal cord, causing interruptions to the nervous system function. The nervous system is responsible for the proper functioning of a whole host of essential bodily functions.

To achieve optimal restoration of health, ensure proper development and comfort for your child, we recommend pursuing chiropractic therapy.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Needs A Chiropractor?

Even the most healthy babies can struggle with common ailments as they adjust to being in the world and learn to digest food and sleep. If your newborn is facing consistent challenges with or from any of the following, we recommend getting in touch.

–  A difficult or traumatic birth that may have predisposed the spine for misalignments. This is particularly prevalent in instances of vaginal birth where the birth process can be lengthy and complicated.

– Pain or discomfort caused by sprained joints during delivery that is inhibiting range of motion.

– Sleep issues or sleep disturbances due to possible neck or ear pain due to recurrent ear infections.

– Difficulty latching during a feed.

– Musculoskeletal conditions.

– Torticollis where the neck muscles spasm and cause the head and neck to tilt to one side. Over time this can lead to flat spots or a misshapen skull.

– Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. If misaligned vertebrae are pressing on the stomach or spinal cord which can impair proper digestion. Correcting the nerve dysfunction and vertebra position through spinal adjustments can work to resolve issues related to painful acid reflux.

– Colic symptoms, linked to an immature digestive system, infantile colic can cause significant abdominal pain and distress in your newborn due to gas build-up during the digestive process. Through gentle manipulation of the soft tissue in the abdomen and ensuring the spine is aligned, nerve flow can be restored and discomfort eased. For these same reasons, treatment can also aid in problems with constipation.

– An impaired immune system, spinal nerve stress due to compression leads to issues with the central nervous system. When this malfunctions, it can lead to challenges with the body’s immune system working as it should.

How Chiropractic Care Supports Infants And Younger Children’s Health And Development

Gentle adjustments and spinal manipulation can correct nerve dysfunction due to misaligned vertebrae and deliver several health benefits to your child. Including chiropractic treatment as part of preventive care or ongoing medical care, you can ensure your child receives the best possible start in life.

Early intervention to correct a misaligned spine promotes a stronger neck and back. This aids in helping your child reach important physical development milestones such as sitting, crawling, and walking while also promoting better posture.

What You Need To Know Before Taking Your Baby To A Chiropractor

While chiropractic care is undoubtedly beneficial to your newborn infant, it is important to note that your chiropractor cannot make any guarantees regarding treatment. Just as our appearances and personalities are unique, so is the way in which our bodies respond to chiropractic treatment.

What works for one child, may not work in the same way for another. This is why we recommended chiropractic care from birth to adolescence and beyond be treated as complementary therapy to your usual medical care. Our practitioners will also recommend you to seek further medical treatment from a relevant specialist should we deem it necessary.

What The Evidence Shows Us For Conditions Such As Colic

Our systematic review of the literature revealed 26 articles meeting our inclusion criteria. These consisted of three clinical trials, two survey studies, six case reports, two case series, four cohort studies, five commentaries, and four reviews of the literature. Our findings reveal that chiropractic care is a viable alternative to the care of infantile colic and congruent with evidence-based practice, particularly when one considers that medical care options are no better than placebo or have associated adverse events.

Some surveys completed by chiropractors and parents have shown as many as 9 out of ten babies experienced significant relief from colic and acid reflux following treatment.

What You Should Look For In A Family Chiropractor

Ensuring you select an appropriately trained and experienced chiropractor is essential, particularly when it comes to caring for infants. Always check for formal qualifications from an accredited chiropractic college.

Not all chiropractors will be comfortable working with infants so be sure to ask them upfront or check with other parents in your area regarding their own experiences.

What To Expect During Treatment

Your newborn’s initial consultation will involve a thorough assessment of the child’s health and discussion with parents regarding any areas of concern. During this time we may also ask about any birth complications or birth trauma that may have occurred at delivery.

Next, a physical assessment will be carried out, noting the child’s reflex responses and whether they are meeting their developmental milestones within the recognized neurologically normal ranges. A spine and joint assessment will determine any issues with range of movement also.

Finally, an ongoing care plan will be created and any necessary treatment will be carried out – optimal results are best achieved over a set period of time, rather than a single visit.

There will be no cracking or forceful movements, treatment on an infant is more a correction than an adjustment, and only the slightest amount of pressure is used.

Why Choose Us?

At The Chiropractic Doctors, we are passionate about providing exceptional care for patients of all ages. Whether this is a new baby, involves the care of children, adolescents, or adults we are focused on helping you achieve better health and overall wellness.

With over 35 years of experience, you can trust our team to pair extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology and deliver care that far exceeds expectations.

Our commitment to ongoing training and education ensures we remain at the forefront of treatment developments and can potentially help every member of your family, no matter their age.

For genuine, gentle care that is backed by extensive qualifications, contact the premier provider of chiropractic care in Grand Rapids today on (616) 369-8608.


Are chiropractic adjustments safe for newborns?

Yes, when handled by an appropriately trained and experienced chiropractor, your baby is perfectly safe during treatment.

Will treatment hurt my baby?

No, the Adjustment therapies used on newborns are as gentle as checking to see if a tomato is ripe. Being akin to a gentle massage most babies find the treatment relaxing and are visibly more comfortable following its conclusion.

Should they cry, it is most often due to the unfamiliar environment and unknown face of your chiropractor.

Can a chiropractor help my baby poop?

Unsurprisingly, yes! As mentioned above, chiropractic treatment can help to restore proper digestive function which may also ease constipation in babies. For many parents, this is one of the leading benefits of infant care that chiropractors can provide as a constipated baby is a very uncomfortable one.

At what age can my child begin treatment?

Chiropractic care for newborn infants is appropriate and safe starting within a few weeks of birth. We encourage all new moms and babies to get settled in and give us a call within the first few weeks if they’re ready.

How often should my child get adjusted?

The frequency of treatment is something that will be discussed and determined at the time of your initial consultation and may be adjusted as time goes on. There is no blanket rule regarding frequency as it is an entirely individual and tailored process designed to meet the needs of your child. Babies often respond to care very quickly due to the fact that problems have not been there for extended periods of time, what could take adults weeks or months to see improvement, is often time days to weeks for babies.

Call our office to book your next appointment, and discover why The Chiropractic Doctors are consistently rated 5 stars by your neighbors!


This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Matthew Phinney.

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